Today, 3M HIS announced it has acquired CodeRyte. As division scientist, this is exciting news from a technology perspective. Here’s my take on what it means for NLP:
The distinctive feature of CodeRyte’s technology is its strong statistical NLP capability. As I discussed in the 3M white paper, Auto-coding and Natural Language Processing, statistical machine learning systems offer the possibility of significant accuracy improvements in data-rich environments, compared to traditional rules-based approaches. A good example is in the outpatient coding environment, where data volumes are large, and CodeRyte has a history of performing very well compared to other systems.
There are multiple ways to boost the accuracy of statistical NLP, and the combination of 3M and CodeRyte will allow us to pursue several paths to the direct benefit of end users. For example, the combination will allow us to:
- Increase the range of expertise. 3M’s depth of expertise and experience in coding and reimbursement will provide the opportunity to broaden CodeRyte’s reach to specialties it has not yet entered.
- Boost the accuracy of data. A statistical computer-assisted coding (CAC) engine can learn by observing data from multiple sources. By combining CodeRyte’s statistical NLP with 3M’s expertise and substantial investment in deriving the right codes for each patient record, providers will see higher CAC accuracies.
- Improve the statistical features. A statistical system can relate features in the input documents to assigned codes. The better the choice of features, the better the result from the statistical system. 3M’s three decades of experience and investment in coding offer the chance for deeper, more robust feature selection.
The combination of CodeRyte’s NLP with 3M’s clinical content and expertise brings many exciting opportunities for innovation in the application of NLP to health care. I look forward to discussing many of the advances that will come from the combination of our capabilities in future blogs.
Richard Wolniewicz is Division Scientist, Natural Language Processing, for 3M Health Information Systems.